NZ flag proposal: Links


:^: NZ Flag Proposals


This design was inspired by the essay and “Koru” design by Michael Smythe and echoes the same core concept of NZ identity in its bicultural roots.

I was motivated to offer an alternative by differing priorities:

  • The koru forms should be dominant rather than be subsumed into larger shapes. Every element should carry its weight in added complexity.
  • The design must not only refer to an idea of the Treaty relationship, but also yeild to its evolving practical expression over time. The idea of separateness should not overwhelm our perspective any more than its opposite.



Two waka meet under a long white cloud and together create a new nation.

Other narratives are possible, but what is essential is that the elements are inseparably entwined, and that their interplay is dynamic and ongoing.

It represents a commitment to continued creativity.horzlinks


Consistent with the Maori flag,

  • Black: Potentiality and the unknown. Imagination.
  • White: The realm of experience. Objective knowledge.

Black and White signifies unpretentious pragmatism; honest, fair, and realistic.
It is bold, direct, and self-assured.


The koru symbolises new life, and in this design implies a state of constant evolution in which even the past remains fertile. The stylised version developed by Gordon Walters is a synthesis of Maori and European artistic traditions.

The koru motif is dominant, rather than being subsumed by the larger pattern. Each instance has a unique character within the overall context and varied relationships with the others.

The arrangement of black and white is neither homogenous nor readily divided.

He iwi tahi tatou
The double pair of oppositely turned koru is analogous to the carved double twist*, which represents a lasting bond between two peoples.

* i.e. two half-turns.

Construction sheet

Widths and diameters of the same colour have the same dimensions. Their differences are for optical balance at typical angular sizes under static display, but may be relaxed as appropriate.

The pattern is centred when cropped to a ratio of 3:2, but is intended to have an extended fly, up to 2:1.

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